Ukraine, U.S. may start joint drills next week - Avakov
Ukraine and the United States may begin joint military exercises next week with the consent with the Ukrainian parliament, Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has said.
The U.S. government is ready to start the drills next week, he said at a press briefing in Kyiv on Friday.
"If the Verkhovna Rada votes for this decision on Tuesday – and I hope it will do so – regular units of the U.S. Armed Forces will come to us. They will have a long practice together with our National Guards in Yavoriv in Lviv region," Avakov said.
As reported, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has tabled a bill in parliament to admit foreign servicemen for multinational exercises in Ukraine in 2015.
In keeping with the scheduled of the exercises, Yavoriv district in Lviv region will host the Ukrainian-U.S. Fearless Guardian 2015 drills March through November 2015. Up to 2,200 servicemen with weapons and military hardware are to participate: up to 200 men from the Armed Forces of Ukraine, up to 1,000 men from the National Guard of Ukraine, and up to 1,000 men from the U.S. Armed Forces.
From July to October 2015, the international center for peacekeeping and security in Yavoriv district in Lviv region will host the Ukrainian-U.S. Saber Guardian/Rapid Trident 2015 exercises. The total number of participants will be up to 2,100 servicemen with weapons and military hardware. Namely, there will be up to 1,000 men from the Armed Forces of Ukraine, up to 500 men from the U.S. Armed Forces, and up to 600 from NATO member states and countries participating in the Partnership for Peace program.